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Only fishermen can help restore sturgeon resources

2012-10-12

“Time has come to repay our debt to nature,” said Director of the Environmental Protection Department at the Ministry of Environment, Mr Laimutis Budrys, as five thousand fingerlings of Atlantic sturgeons were released into the River Neris. He noted that these valuable fish were extirpated from the Baltic Sea and from its tributaries in the middle of the 20th century under the impact of human activity: increasing environmental pollution, constructing of dams and drastic fishing of survived spawning sturgeons.

The recently launched Lithuanian national programme for restoring the population of Atlantic sturgeons gives hope that these fish resources will be restored in the Lithuanian waters. Planned until 2020, the programme was approved by the ministers of environment and agriculture last spring. Under one of its projects, officials from the ministries of environment and agriculture released more than 5,000 sturgeon fingerlings into the River Neris. The project was joined by colleagues from Latvia, who came for experience. Latvia also intends to take up restoration of its sturgeon resources.

In 2007, ministers of environment of the countries around the Baltic singed a Baltic Sea Action Plan of the Helsinki Commission, assuming a commitment to join German and Polish efforts in restoring Atlantic sturgeons. They also expressed intention to work out programmes for restoring these resources in the rivers that are suitable habitats for sturgeons.

Under one of these programmes, another 2,000 Atlantic sturgeons were released into the rivers Neris and Šventoji, totalling 13,000. Director of the Fishery Service under the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Vytautas Grušauskas, said this was a historic moment for Lithuania as Lithuanian native-grown fingerlings (from Rusnė) instead of the foreign ones were released into the rivers.

Information of the Ministry of Environment, telephone 266 3660

12 October 2012

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas